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Mr. FLEMING. I thank the gentleman, my good friend from New Jersey, for all the great work that you've done in this area and many others, protecting children; and we're all grateful to you for doing that.
Mr. Speaker, 40 years ago, when the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision was handed down, I was just a college student taking premed courses with a desire to pursue my goal of being a doctor one day. That was when Roe v. Wade was passed, and hardly anybody even noticed what a landmark decision that was that has led now to the death of over 55 million unborn innocents in this country.
Today, after 36 years as a family physician and having delivered hundreds of babies, I know now more than ever that life begins at conception. Over the decades, medical technology has only served to confirm what we know. Ultrasound has given us a powerful window into the womb that shows us a small, intricately developing human being. We know now through DNA that every little baby, every little embryo, is a unique blueprint in history. Protecting these pre-born children must be our first priority. That's what I strive to do as a family physician in Louisiana, looking after expectant mothers and their soon-to-be-born babies.
As a Congressman, my aim has been unchanged. Abortion is an attack on the very creed that I follow as a physician: first, do no harm. As a Member of Congress, I've stood firm against abortion, against laws that have infringed on the conscience protections of medical providers who want nothing to do with abortion, and I have consistently opposed the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion services.
Many think that at the termination of a pregnancy that the problem goes away, but nothing could be further from the truth. We know through studies that young women who have abortions are more likely to have depression, more likely to commit suicide, and more likely to have future miscarriages and problems with their pregnancy.
Mr. Speaker, the problems do not end with the termination of an innocent life. The abortion epidemic has cost 55 million children their lives. This is a national tragedy, and it must stop; and on this heartbreaking anniversary today, 40 years after Roe v. Wade, I'm more committed than ever to defending the lives of the unborn.
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